The second set of 'All Star Jams' for the week of Different Skies 2007 was captured in the late evening of Thursday, October 19, 2007. The twenty musicians of Different Skies were euphoric after an extremely successful set of rehearsals that day, and a powerful set of jams the previous night. More to the point, as is often seen in the latter half of the week at Different Skies, the musicians had begun to listen more and play less, to fine-tune their collaborative skills, and to think and move and play as one unit rather than twenty conflicting individuals.
As a result, the Thursday night jam was shorter but far more productive than the previous night. It lacked Wednesday's all-out energetic rush, but also lacked its chaos, frequent blind alleys, and muddied ideas. The musicians played for about 45 minutes for a small audience of Arcosanti residents and for an Internet audience around the world on StillStream.com and on Second Life (thanks to Bibi Book for the SL rebroadcast); in doing so, they created a collage of five distinct movements which are presented here almost in their entirety.
I have taken the liberty of ordering that muddied or uncertain transitions be edited out and that places where musical ideas stumbled at the end of long and successful stretches be removed. These five pieces present the high points of an evening's improvisational work by twenty folks who were finally listening as much as they played, if not more. It marked that wonderful transition in my own mind - a moment I have come to treasure and welcome back as an old friend in every successive year - from the early fears of "Will this come together in time?" to the quiet confidence of "We're going to do fine."
We always have done fine, and I hope we always will. That we do so well is, in my opinion, entirely to the credit of the fine musicians who see fit to drag their gear into the Arizona high desert for seven days of grueling tech work, hard rehearsals, difficult musical decisions, and nerve-wracking performances ... all melded inseparably with a level of camaraderie and friendship that cannot be described to anyone who has not come and taken part. They are my second family, and I love them with all my heart.
We look forward to editing, mastering, and releasing the rehearsed / orchestrated material from the actual Different Skies concert that took place on Saturday night, in the form of a commercially available CD. In the meantime, this release - along with its companion release for Wednesday night's jam - offers a brief and piquant taste of the atmosphere of our evening jams, a momentary immersion into the musical wonderland that is Different Skies. I hope you enjoy it.
Mike Metlay December 10, 2007
As always, all Earth Mantra releases are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. For commercial use, please contact us.
Music written, recorded and produced by the Different Skies 2007 orchestra, in alphabetical order:
Darrell Burgan Jim Combs John DuVal Russell Foster Bill Fox Brian Good Allen Goodman David Herpich Jeff Kunzelman Joe McMahon Mike Metlay Otso Pakarinen Giles Reaves John Rossi III Ivan Schwartz Christopher Short Tim Thompson Paul Vnuk Jr. Tim Walters
For more information about Different Skies and about these participants, please visit:
Recorded in October 2007. Released in January 2008.
Released under the "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported" license, which allows and encourages free use of this material so long as certain conditions are met. Details of this license can be found at:
earman029 - Different Skies - Imaginary Spaces (39:16, 92 MB)
01 - Teilhard's Stepchildren (5:02, 11.8 MB) 02 - Adrift Off Floating Point (8:20, 19.5 MB) 03 - Intermix (5:09, 12.0 MB) 04 - The Number You Have Reached (10:39, 24.9 MB) 05 - Reiner Gamma Swirl (10:06, 23.7 MB)